There’s nothing like the Olympics. Nothing. The best athletes from around the world gather to represent their countries, to give it their all, to get to know one another, and of course, to compete.
However, the competition this year feels different, contains within it a seed of hope. As South and North Korea process in together under a unified flag even as nuclear threat looms, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself.
Gone is the posturing. Gone is the fear. Gone is the threat of the annihilation of literally millions of people. In its place are smiles, waving young people joined together in spirit if only for a moment. If only this could be the reflection of life today instead of military parades on both sides of the Pacific. If only nations could compete not on the battlefield, but on the sports field. If only.
One Olympic athlete excels beyond their dreams. Another has one mis-step that costs them everything. People are meant to compete in sports where hard work, skill, and relentless training all play a part, as can chance. Not in an arena filled with drones, nuclear warheads, and ICBMs where innocent people have no chance and all the skill in the world is utterly useless.
As Kim Jong-un’s sister smiles and waves seated a stone’s throw from Mike Pence, I can’t help wondering what is going through her mind. Does she grasp the reality in which her people and the South Koreans live? Does she see the pain behind the smiles? Does she see the worry? Does she see the abject fear?
An invitation extended. A small step taken. A tiny spark ignited. God at work.
An Olympic dream born.
The ancient Greeks had it right. Let the games begin.